Moulds & Deckles

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The vital tools necessary for making handmade paper with a deckled edge. The Moulds and Deckles are available in three sizes (approx) A4 (210 x 297mm), A5 (148 x 210mm) and A6 (105 x 148mm).

A Mould and Deckle is used to scoop the slurry from the pulp mix; the Deckle is an empty frame while the Mould is another frame which has mesh screen stretched across it. The frame rests on the mesh side of the deckle and when the mould and deckle is pulled through the slurry it captures the pulp fibres on the mesh and allows water to drain through the holes.

A couching cloth is made from a dense felt fabric. The wet pulp sheet is flipped onto the couching cloth from the Mould so that it can soak up the remaining moisture. A second couching felt is placed on top of the draining paper so that the process can be repeated with the next sheet.

Continue reading for more papermaking techniques...

Silk Papermaking / Papier Mache

Cotton Sliver
Paper made with Cotton Sliver

A simple handmade paper can be made using a similar technique to papier mache. Fibres, strips of paper, leaves or petals can be bound together using PVA glue, silk paper medium or CMC paste. The glue medium you choose will depend on the absorbency of the base material. To make a silk paper, place a sheet of papermaking netting on a flat protected surface. Take the silk fibres and pull them out so that there is a thin layer of the fibres all running in the same direction across the mesh. Build a second layer with the fibres running from the top to the bottom of the mesh so that they cross over the first layer. Create another 1-2 layers in the same way and then place a second sheet of papermaking netting on top to create a sandwich.

The paper is created by bonding the fibres together using either a PVA based glue, which produces a stiffer, slightly more robust paper, or CMC paste which makes a soft, pliable paper. The glue is spread or brushed over the top sheet of netting and pushed through the holes in the mesh with a sponge to fully dampen and bond the fibres within the sandwich. The paper can remain in the sandwich to dry (to create a textured surface patterned from the netting) or the top sheet of netting can be removed. The resultant paper can be used for mixed media, stitch or scrapbooking.

Similarly, strips of paper (or fibres) can be dipped in PVA glue or CMC paste and placed around a former to create objects using the papier mache technique. Alternatively, glue can be added to wet paper pulp to make a modelling medium (papier mâché literally means chewed up paper in French).